Planning & Strategy.
- Toyota unveiled five robots that will support both athletes and attendees at Tokyo 2020, including one that fetches javelins and shotputs.
- A great read on the deceptive nature of the plastics industry and the problems with plastic and its recycling in general.
- On August 7, the NYC Manufacturing and Industrial Innovation Council (MaiiC) is launching its advisory committee to address the challenges of operating an industrial business in NYC. You can register here.
Making & Manufacturing.
- Adam Savage and his team made an additively manufactured titanium Iron Man suit and teamed up with Gravity Industries and their jetpack to actually fly it. There are few people who have had such a profound impact on the maker community as Adam. I recommend his book Every Tool's a Hammer.
- A review of the long-anticipated Raspberry Pi 4, a pocket-sized computer perfect for makers and capable of outputting 4K video. You may want to wait for a board update though due to a USB-C charging port design issue.
Maintenance, Repair & Operations.
- Nintendo is facing a class action lawsuit over widespread drift in it’s best-selling Switch console’s “Joy-Con” joysticks, making some games unplayable. Looking at this well-photographed teardown of the Switch Joy-Con, and having some experience with the shortcomings of soft potentiometers, I’m curious how this failure mode made it through reliability testing and the extent to which the problem was known prior to release. While you wait for the lawsuit to resolve, our friends over at iFixit have you covered with Joy-Con repair guides.
- Speaking of reliability issues in the pursuit of all designs thin, my MacBook Pro “b” key has finally succumbed to the butterfly keyboard issue we covered in 2018-07-02. Since the keyboard is fused to the battery, trackpad, and speakers, one speck of dust may result in a whole lot of e-waste.
Distribution & Logistics.
- In 2019-06-17 we linked to the London Underground cooling problem which has seen temperatures reach up to 47°C (116 °F). Here is an in-depth video on the reasons behind the Underground’s historically increasing heat and a future solution being worked on to cool it down.
Inspection, Testing & Analysis.
- Newark International Airport uses Xbox Kinects for video surveillance. While the Kinect provides a less-costly solution to develop as an off-the-shelf product, the question that comes to mind is: What is their plan when the Kinects (already no longer in production since October 2017) need replacement?
- How to make your own faux neon sign.
- The FTC is now accepting claims for the 2017 Equifax data breach - you could receive $125 or more, enough to pay for a year of personal subscription to The Prepared ;)
- As someone who’s never experienced a cold winter, I was intrigued to find out about the Minneapolis Skyway System—pedestrian footbridges which connect 80 city blocks of Downtown Minneapolis—allowing residents to work, eat, and live without ever stepping foot outside.
p.s. - I’m always interested to learn more about what people are working on. Let's get coffee!
p.p.s. - Whenever possible, we work to encourage inclusivity. Here's how.